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Driver probation - readers respond

2012-06-19 09:16

RAFT OF CHANGES - THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Our readers are mostly in favour of changes to roadworthy tests as they could remove dangerous taxis and buses from our roads. As for the proper implementaion for the proposed changes, we won't hold our

CAPE TOWN - The government wants to implement a raft of changes for drivers and their vehicles as part of a campaign to reduce road deaths in South Africa.

Among them are tougher regulation of driving schools and instructors, roadworthy test for vehicles older than 10 years every two years and a probation system for new drivers.

New drivers will have to complete a year of probationary driving before they receive a full driving licence. If they commit certain offences during the probation period they will have to start the licence process all over again.


Western Cape MEC for transport and public works, Robin Carlisle, has given his support for the changes - which also include providing proof of address for traffic-related transactions such as paying fines.

Our readers had plenty of suggestions, criticisms and witticisms regarding the proposed changes. Many readers were in favour of the changes to the driving licence process as they believed it would reduce road deaths among first time drivers.

Unsurprisingly, many vehicle owners were unhappy with proposed changes to the roadworthy tests, though some would comply if it meant fewer unroadworthy taxis and buses.

The government has never been short on adding new laws or coming up with new systems, the trouble has always been in the implementation thereof (eNatis, e-tolling etc). Many of our readers called for current legislation to be improved rather than introducing the proposed changes.

Some of our readers had other suggestions on improving our roads such as stopping the e-tolling process, educating traffic officers and setting up roadblocks at stadiums hosting sport or entertainment events.

Below are some of our top comments:

Calls to improve current laws

sontie.bruwer - Come on people! This government should wake up! Making more laws will only put more money into government pockets and not change anything further. First enforce the current laws (yes-including the taxi-industry they created by stuffing up public transport!) and no further laws should be necessary.

Kobus - Just enforce the laws we have!!! Making new ones will solve nothing as they too will not be enforced.

DennyCray - Classic government response to inadequately enforced laws - add more laws which will require more resources to be diverted to satisfying red tape requirements rather than actual real "on the street" law enforcement.

rowan.maulson - *mutter* Instead of making new unenforceable laws, why not just enforce the ones you already have, which are just fine. Typical reaction to a problem in this country, try legislate it out of existence, and make it infinitely worse in the process.

Driving licence changes

Shaun.xexo - Do these people have nothing better to do with their time??? My girlfriend has been unfairly failed on her licence 4 times, 3 of which I was there watching...

eyesears.handsfeet - Another BS "law" where the consumer must pay even more to have his/her child get a driving license (probationary driving). The new laws are not going to stop the deaths on the road, us the ones who are driving with illegal licenses are still out on the road and nothing are being done to check the licenses. I would really like to know what the ministers are smoking.

jackblack - When you can go into your local traffic department and book a driver's test within a week - then they can think about implementing this crap. Until then, get these idiots to use their brains to sort out the driver's test backlog situation. Useless morons!!!

Roadworthy test

- Ridiculous, we have to take time of our busy schedule to go for a roadworthy, r they f?%$# crazy. That’s like 3-hrs of going back and forth. They just wanna screw us of more money. What next I wonder?

- My car is 10 years old and is in all aspects roadworthy except for a SMALL amount of rust - so if they enforced that law my car would be deemed unroadworthy. That is unacceptable probably not just to me but to a lot of people living at the coast. I have enough money to keep my car roadworthy in all the important aspects - now I would have to find the money to have the itty bitty rust places fixed and the car re-sprayed.

- would certainly bring down the amount of unroadworthy vehicles - an absolute minefield to administer - but if you do not start somewhere....

Against the changes

ivan.vandermerwe.10 - Just another way to fill the coffers, no concern for road safety here. Do they really think the Taxi industry give a damn about road safety?

authorized - Good way for the government to make additional money off of a process that is already so *u*king tedious that half the people applying for licenses don't want to go through the effort. Great job ANC.

nomde.plume.7547 - A wonderful revenue stream as well.

For the changes

anton.tromp - The probation for new drivers is brilliant, drivers between 18-25 are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident, 89% of those are young males. This is because they over estimate their abilities and under estimate the complexity of the situation.

Ebrahim Johnson
- I think they should make the probation 3 months and not 12 Months, at the end of the day, if they make the laws more strict, they will force the majority of people that can’t afford to go and pay hundreds of Rands to get a booking and test, and wait up to six months to get an appointment, to go the illegal route.

chadgriff - This idea might work if the process to renew our vehicles license and re-roadworthy this vehicle was efficient and not ridiculously expensive! Currently it costs R200+ for a roadworthy and licence renewal is a further R270+ and then still at least half a day to get roadworthy and license if you lucky? It is a very good idea to keep check of the growing number of un-roadworthy vehicles on our roads.

Warren - I would also like to see the data supporting that accidents mainly happen in the first year of driving and between midnight and 4am, however I still think it is a good idea as anyone driving that late is most likely either drunk or tired. I drive a 40 year old car and am happy to have it road worthied every 2 years, however I think testing cars 15-20 years and older would make more sense purely from a clerical point of view, and to protect the second hand market.

reva.barendse - I think it's a fantastic idea. Hopefully the roads will become a bit safer. However, will the metro police be able to police this? Well, that's another whole debate.

Other suggestions

chez.kri - How about road blocks to test for drunk driving outside every sport stadium after a game? Now check how many thumbs down I get by people who drive drunk and really don't want there to be roadblocks! YOU are the guys that cause the accidents and have the wrong, arrogant attitude.

curriemafia - What about getting a Code 10 licence with no parallel parking/alley docking driving a Code 8 vehicle? This is common practice.

Open mind - We also need to educate our Police and Metro officers, they don't know the law and see many things as normal as they grew up with this.

thizwilondi.mofamadi - This ANC, now they are trying new system, because they fail with this issue of e-toll. They must stop try to mislead people and come with the solution, to bring down the cost of the fuel. St**p ANC

Share your thoughts in our Readers' Comments section below and take part in our roadworthy tests poll in our homepage voting booth!

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